Fiddleheads' owner Rhiannon Nachbaur and a few adult students created a legacy for violinists and fiddlers of the Shuswap region of British Columbia.

The Society operated during a productive 5-year-span from 2003 to 2007.


various seniors and children holding violins they have donated

Photo: Various locals donate violins to the Shuswap Violin Society Instrument Bank, Fall 2003


The Shuswap Violin Society (SVS) was a non-profit society incorporated under the "Societies Act" of the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Reg # S-46521.


The SVS' purposes were to promote violin and fiddle music in the Shuswap and

  • To provide assistance and opportunities to violinists and fiddlers of all ages through scholarships, instrument loans and career development programs and other related projects as determined by the membership.

  • To foster unity and community spirit and encourage musical diversity and versatility by means of educational workshops, public concerts and similar events as determined by the membership.

  • To establish new and support existing music ensembles and bands with a focus on violin and fiddle.


In 2001 Rhiannon saw a desperate need for violin and fiddle workshops in her lacking rural community. Typical to Rhiannon's hard-working manner, the concept for a single afternoon workshop grew to become the "Strings Alive Festival for Violinists and Fiddlers." Strings Alive featured two entire days of various workshops, fiddle contests, evening concerts and jam sessions and was hosted annually.

Rhiannon soon found that the tasks of organizer, emcee, teacher and nursing mother too much to handle on top of adjudicating and performing the entire day. Thus in the summer of 2003 Rhiannon sought assistance to continue hosting her Strings Alive event. Yet again, this simple concept took on a life of its own and her tiny workshop committee developed into a motivated non-profit group. Thus was the beginning of the ap Violin Society (SVS).

The group supported violinists and fiddlers in their local community by means of:

  • Scholarships ($4000 raised and granted over a 3 year span)

  • Instrument Bank: violins donated and loaned to the SVS were then loaned to players in financial need who wanted to play violin

  • Live Music Events: Concerts/recitals and coffeehouse fundraisers

  • Educational workshops and masterclasses with master musicians

  • Online Violin & Fiddle Teacher Registry for the region [See the replacement list here]

  • Website with online resources

  • Honourary Lifetime Members including Pinchas Zukerman, Natalie McMaster, April Verch and others.


Photo: Just a sample of a few newspaper clippings from Salmon Arm, Kamloops and beyond illustrating the many programs and events offered by the Shuswap Violin Society.

Photo: Just a sample of a few newspaper clippings from Salmon Arm, Kamloops and beyond illustrating the many programs and events offered by the Shuswap Violin Society under Rhiannon's leadership.


Rhiannon served the entire five years as Founding President with an outstanding and dedicated group of directors and members consisting of adult violin students and the parents of young students. As the fifth year concluded and Rhiannon was taking a leave to birth and care for her second child, the directors concluded the society had accomplished exactly what it sent out to do in supporting local violin music and elevating it to a whole new level.

It was unanimously agreed by the board that other local non-profit groups would take over where the SVS left off. Remaining funds and instruments were donated to other local arts and music organizations, where the SVS legacy lives on in perpetuity.